Honored by Rotary, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke still mum on political future – Courier & Press

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — In accepting the Rotary Club of Evansville’s Civic Award on Tuesday, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke didn’t tip his hand on the question many in the room surely were curious to know.
Winnecke didn’t say if his current term will be his last, or if he will sign up in 2023 to seek the office a fourth time.
Honored along with his wife, Evansville-based real estate agent Carol McClintock, Winnecke said after the presentation he’ll decide by “middle of July” whether to pursue re-election.
His campaign conducted a fundraiser this month at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. Winnecke, 62, said he has an event every year in conjunction with his birthday, and no one should search for clues about his future plans based on that.
The most recent available campaign finance report for Friends of Mayor Winnecke, filed in January and reflecting donations and expenses in 2021, showed just more than $250,000 cash on hand. 
“It means I had a birthday in early June,” Winnecke said of the recent fundraiser. “Nothing to be read into that.”
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A Republican, Winnecke won his third term in 2019 with 81% of the vote in an election where the Democratic Party did not field a candidate. He is the first three-term GOP mayor in Evansville history.
The award Winnecke and McClintock received on Tuesday typically does not go to political figures. The Rotary club frequently honors local individuals in health care, business, education and philanthropy, but the last mayor to receive the Civic Award was Frank McDonald II in 1998. The late Gov. Robert Orr of Evansville was the 1980 recipient.
McClintock — who served a term as a Vanderburgh County commissioner before building her real estate career — and Winnecke were showered with praise by Rotarians as being omnipresent in Evansville and vigorously supporting the city’s institutions and nonprofit agencies.
“You have been fantastic for the city of Evansville,” former City Council member Connie Robinson said in videotaped remarks.
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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, also on video, described Winnecke and McClintock as a “dynamic duo” and “powerful forces for good.”
Rotarians managed to maintain the element of surprise surrounding the award. McClintock said she knew Winnecke was being honored, but she didn’t know that she was receiving the award as well.
Winnecke said he thought Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch of Evansville was the person being honored.
“I am blessed to call you friends,” Crouch said to Winnecke and McClintock at the luncheon.
“I hope the chapter hasn’t ended, and you run for mayor again,” she told Winnecke.
Winnecke said it meant a great deal to him that McClintock also was honored for service to Evansville.
“I say this a lot, and in every State of the City speech, I couldn’t do what I do without her,” Winnecke said of his wife. “I’m pleased people recognize that.” 
The Rotary Civic Award has been given by the club annually since 1927 to someone who, according to the club “have performed outstanding service for this city.”
Here are the most recent recipients:
2021: Lloyd Winnecke and Carol McClintock
2020: COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund of the Greater Evansville Region
2019: John C. and Diane Schroeder
2018: Ron and Connie Romain
2017: Dr. Steven Becker
2016: Barbara and Brian Williams
2015: Linda Bennett
2014: Dr. Ray Nicholson
2013: Dr. Maria Del Rio Hoover
2012: John Whinrey
2011: Vicki Snyder
Names of winners from previous decades are on the Rotary Club’s website, evansvillerotary.com.


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